Sunday, December 4, 2016
Nov 28-Dec 4, 2016 NL hitters with a season of 35+ HR and -35 K's.
Originally sent the week of 20-Nov-2006
Q. What member of the 500 home run club hit the highest percentage of his home runs in his home ballpark?
Hint: He only ever played for, and managed, one team.
A. Mel Ott (63.2% or 323 out of 511 for the NY Giants in the Polo Grounds)
Percentage of home HRs. (per the HR log at baseball-reference.com)
Mel Ott 63.21%
Frank Thomas 59.88%
Ernie Banks 56.64%
Jimmie Foxx 55.99%
Jim Thome 55.39%
Frank Robinson 54.78%
Rafael Palmeiro 54.66%
Sammy Sosa 52.71%
Ken Griffey 52.70%
Gary Sheffield 51.47%
Hank Aaron 50.99%
Alex Rodriguez 50.86%
Manny Ramirez 50.81%
Harmon Killebrew 50.79%
Willie Mays 50.76%
Willie McCovey 50.67%
Reggie Jackson 50.27%
Barry Bonds 50.26%
Mickey Mantle 49.63%
Mark McGwire 48.89%
Babe Ruth 48.60%
Mike Schmidt 48.36%
Eddie Murray 48.02%
Ted Williams 47.60%
Albert Pujols 46.87%
Eddie Mathews 46.48%
David Ortiz 44.55% Thanks to reader Fred Worth for this list.
FCR – Alex Poterack, Providence
Incorrect answers: Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Eddie Mathews, Ted Williams, Frank Robinson, Hank Aaron, Harmon Killebrew, Amaris Ramirez, Brian Giles
Q. Who was the last 20th century Pirate to hit a home run in four consecutive games?
Hint: He was the first player in the 2000’s to hit five home runs in his team's first four games of a season.
A. Barry Bonds (last 4 on 18-21-Aug-1987; 1st 4 in 2000)
FCR – Paul Goodson, Cheyenne
Incorrect answers: Neil Walker, Donn Clendenon, Willie Stargell, Dale Long, Jeff King, Johnny Mize
Q. After Mel Ott led the New York Giants in home runs for 18 consecutive years, who finally snapped his string?
Hint: He was the first NL position player to be runner-up in the MVP balloting in consecutive seasons.
A. Johnny Mize (Led Giants in HRs with 22 in 1946. That same year Ott had only one—his 511th and last career home run; MVP voting 1939-40, finishing behind Bucky Walters and Frank McCormick respectively.)
FCR – Alan Balutis, Arlington, Virginia
Incorrect answers: Enos Slaughter, Willie Mays, Ralph Kiner
THANKSGIVING BONUS (Not theme related, but a natural follow-up to Wednesday’s question)
Q. Whose string of five seasons leading the Giants in home runs did Willie Mays break?
Hint: He is more famous for being replaced by another Hall of Famer.
A. Bobby Thomson‘s (Led the team in homers 1949-53. Mays led the team with 41 in 1954 and then led the majors with 51 in 1955; Thomson was replaced in the Braves’ outfield by Hank Aaron.)
FCR – Mark Kanter, Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Incorrect answers: Dusty Rhodes, Monte Irvin, Johnny Mize, Orlando Cepeda, Willie McCovey, Hank Thompson
Q. Whose 36 home runs helped his team set the all-time team record of 221 for one season?
Hint: The heart of his career was lost to service in World War II.
A. Willard Marshall’s (1947 Giants, team home run record finally bested with expansion in 1961, in the Marines 1943-45)
FCR – Don Harrison, Fairfield, Connecticut
Incorrect answers: Wally Post, Ted Williams, Willie Mays, Johnny Mize, Walker Cooper, Joe DiMaggio
Q. Who was the first player to hit more than one home run in his first World Series game?
Hint: He was known for a garment malfunction.
A. Ted Kluszewski (01-Oct-1959 WS, game 1, 3rd and 4th innings; deliberately tore the sleeves off his uniform jerseys to let the world see his enormous biceps)
FCR – Jim McCoy, Melrose, Massachusetts
Incorrect answers: Bernie Carbo, Gene Tenace, Barry Bonds, Troy Glaus, Pablo Sandoval, Enos Slaughter, Andruw Jones, Lucky Lohrke
Q. Who took weekly tumbling lessons as a toddler?
Hint: He led his high school basketball team to an undefeated season.
Hint: He signed a professional contract only after consulting with Miss Helen Kloz, his high school librarian, who advised him to follow his heart "at least for a little while".
Hint: He gave up a home run to someone who appeared as an answer previously this week.
Hint: His pitching career ended when he fell heavily on his arm in a minor league game.
A. Stan Musial (Tumbling lessons at the Polish National Alliance in Donora, PA; Led Donora High School to an undefeated season in 1938; Mrs. Kloz was also the assistant baseball coach; gave up a home run to Johnny Mize in spring training in 1941; no longer pitched effectively after making a shoestring catch 11-Aug-1940 in the minors)
FCR – Fred Worth, Arkadelphia, Arkansas
Incorrect answers: Jamie Moyer, Clint Hartung, Ralph Branca
Q. Whose baseball trading card is generally the least well preserved in the first major set Topps ever produced.
Hint: He played for the same manager on two different teams.
A. Andy Pafko (His card was #1 in the Topps 1952 set and when found today, it almost always has rubber band dents on the edges; Pafko played for manager Charlie Grimm on the Cubs and Braves.)
FCR – Barry Zamoff, Washington, DC
Incorrect answers: Mickey Mantle, Warren Spahn, Early Wynn, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Yogi Berra, Ted Williams, Eddie Mathews (a popular guess since his card #407 was the last one in that set)
WEEKLY THEME – National League players who hit more than 35 home runs in a season while accumulating fewer strikeouts than home runs.
Player Year HRs Ks
Bonds 2004 45 41
Klu 1953 40 34
1954 49 35
1955 47 40
1956 35 31
Marshall 1947 36 30
Mize 1947 51 42
1948 40 37
(…also: 1950 25 24)
Musial 1948 39 34
Ott 1929 42 38
Pafko 1950 36 32
First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Fred Baron, Whately, Massachusetts (after Pafko)
Incorrect theme guesses:
Thu - 1947 Giants who made the All-Star team that year
- the Giants starting line-up for Durocher's first game as their manager
Sun - Top hitters in 1950
- Outfielders in the NL
- Peoples who have homered at Wrigley
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